Carl Wiglesworth, who was a talk show host on Newsradio 1200 WOAI for two decades and helped create the conservative talk radio format which became standard in AM radio, has died at the age of 73, family members tell WOAI.
Eliza Sonneland, who worked on Newsradio 1200 WOAI alongside Carl in the eighties and nineties, says the sorts of topics and people you heard on the show weren't what was usually heard on the radio in those days.
"To talk to people who had differing opinions from the status quo, that was the bread and butter of Carl's program," Sonneland said.
Wiglesworth, who was the 1PM to 4PM host on Newsradio 1200 WOAI, also helped lead political movements. He, for example, was one of the leaders of the battle against the Applewhite Reservoir in the mid 1990s, and Carl's criticism of what he called 'the political class' resounds today more loudly than ever.
Sonneland says Wiglesworth's style of program caught on instantly.
"The groundswell of people who called the station saying, this guy has got to be the host," she recalled. "This is who we need and who we want."
After leaving Newsradio 1200 WOAI in 1997, Wiglesworth appeared on other stations and also was involved in other businesses. Wiglesworth suffered a massive heart attack Friday night, and never regained consciousness.
He was rushed to Methodist Stone Oak Hospital, where the decision was made by his family to discontinue treatment after doctors said he would not recover.
Carl's wife, Laurie Malfatano Wiglesworth, is also a long time Newsradio 1200 WOAI employee.
Relatives say there will be simply an 'intimate family gathering' to remember Carl, and no funeral service is planned.